Meet Your Board of Directors!

The Board of Directors plays a critical role in ensuring the continued success and health of this important organization. We represent all the Owners in determining appropriate organizational performance. The Board is primarily engaged in developing the vision and long-term viability of the Co-op. The Board does not run the store nor do they have direct control over its daily operations. The Board seeks Owner input on the goals and vision of the organization. It reports periodically to the Owners on the Board’s activities, decisions, and compliance with board policies. The Board operates under what is called Policy Governance – a board operating system that emphasizes values, vision, and the empowerment of both board and staff.

What is the Board’s Role?

The Board of Directors is the legal representative of NHFC Owners and is responsible for the overall well-being of the Co-op. The Board exercises its authority through its relationship with the General Manager whom it hires and monitors. The Board’s expectations and requirements for the General Manager’s performance are clearly stated in the Board’s written policies. The Board ensures the Co-op’s success by verifying that the General Manager remains in compliance with those policies.

The Board does not involve itself in operational details. It does not make decisions about the products on store shelves, the specifics of personnel issues, or other day-to-day matters. The Board governs by declaring, through its policies, the results it wants and the actions it wants the General Manager to avoid while achieving those results.

How to Contact Your Board of Directors:

If you have any questions for the Board they can be contacted collectively at board@naturalharvest.coop or individually by using the links in their profiles below.

Stephen Levchak

Stephen Levchak

President & GM Evaluation Committee Chisholm, MN Email Stephen View Bio

Term: 2022-2025

Steve was born and raised in Chisholm and attended UMD, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Teaching Earth and Space Science. He returned to the Iron Range to pursue a career at Hibbing Taconite, where he has worked since 2006. In his spare time, Steve enjoys reading, playing the guitar, watching nature documentaries, viewing the night sky through his telescope, and spending time outdoors. He also likes trying all of the new recipes that his wife Erin creates and is fortunate to find such a great selection of healthy foods at the Co-op. Steve looks forward to working with the other members of the Board to help ensure the long-term success of our co-op.

Christina Forsythe

Christina Forsythe

Vice President & GM Evaluation Committee Embarrass, MN Email Christina View Bio

Term: 2023-2026

My husband and I live in Embarrass MN.  We raise sheep, geese, and chickens on a small farm. I am a part time BWCA guide, so I run dog sled trips in the winter and canoe trips in the summer.  I am also a part time pastor at two Iron Range churches.  However, if you ask my family there is only one thing that I need to tell you.  I grow potatoes.  In doing this I am maintaining a family tradition that goes back to North Dakota and my great grandfather.  We are a family that loves potatoes and so the Embarrass and Babbitt area is a perfect place for us to settle.  I am so excited to be on the board of the Co-op.  This place roots our Iron Range communities in their long history of homesteading and food.  Feel free to reach out with anything, of course!
Victoria Ranua

Victoria Ranua

Secretary & Perpetuation Committee Soudan, MN Email Victoria View Bio

Term: 2022-2025

When asked as a child what I wanted to be when I grew up, my response was always “Be a beekeeper and have an apple orchard”. I did grow up to do both, as well as growing/producing other local foods. This led to being involved in promoting local food with fellow producers and delving into the business aspects of local food production. As soon as we purchased a home in Soudan, MN I became a Co-op Owner. I am glad to use my skills and time to serve on the board of an entity that has a long history of providing good food to the community and aid in its ability to do so with perpetuity.

Mike Nystrom

Mike Nystrom

Treasurer & GM Evaluation Committee Tower, MN Email Mike View Bio

Term: 2023-2025 (partial term)

I am a self-educated, jack-of-all trades type of guy. But food has always been my defining passion. I’ve worked in and owned food-related businesses (in my next life I intend to own/operate a restaurant or be a farmer). I truly enjoy grocery shopping (weird hey?!). I’ve always had a garden. I hunt and fish and gather wild edibles. I LOVE to cook. I research and experiment with butchery, cooking methods, food preservation methods, wild mushrooms and medicinal plants and nutraceutical supplementation. The hardest thing is consistently finding and making the best food choices!

Food is more than calories and nutrients. Food is the material foundation of our very being, nourishing and building our bodies while at the same time adding richness to our life experience through our cultural and spiritual practices surrounding its production and consumption. I see a future where Natural Harvest expands to play a greater role in local food production, processing and delivery. Our current profit-based industrial food delivery systems feel remote, spiritless and risky. Can Natural Harvest play a greater role in strengthening our local food resources? I believe it’s worth a look. I look forward to asking this community of like-minded folks what they think.

Jennifer Krenz

Jennifer Krenz

Perpetuation Committee Gilbert, MN Email Jennifer View Bio

Term: 2022-2024 (partial term)

I would like to participate in maintaining a valuable community resource that contributes to a healthy lifestyle for myself, family, and community.

My diverse work experience has given me a strong background in grant management, non-profit administration, and financial management.

One of the biggest challenges will be to stay relevant in an increasingly competitive market. Big box retailers continue to increase offerings of organic food and wellness products making it difficulty to attract future customers that are able to achieve one-stop–shopping on a tight household budget.

Dominic Renollet

Dominic Renollet

Perpetuation Committee Chisholm, MN Email Dominic View Bio

Term: 2021-2024

Growing up, Nick lived in many different states, from the East Coast to the West Coast and North to South. He experienced many regional cultures from all walks of life. All this travel opened his mind and palate to trying new things. He strongly embraces the belief that food should be our medicine and the things we eat, and drink will directly affect our health and wellness.

Nick is excited to be part of the Co-op community and is honored to serve on the board.

Edie Carr

Edie Carr

Education Committee Gilbert, MN Email Edie View Bio

Term: 2023-2026

Edie and her husband Steve have been members for over 30 years and live in the Lakeland area, outside of Biwabik.  They remember the old store on Chestnut Street fondly as well as the “log building”. Edie graduated from Biwabik High School, then moved away for college and career to Moorhead.  She then married and moved to the Hibbing area in 1985 and in 2000, moved back to the Biwabik area. Her career as an executive director – primarily in the non-profit & government sector, has provided a good basis for collaborative work and strategy.  She is resourceful with a lot of common sense guiding her.

She loves living on the lake and enjoying the short summers on it,  as well as gardening and watching the wildlife around her home. She is blessed with many good friends who enrich their lives. Cooking is a fun task for both of them and using all the great ingredients from their garden and the coop help to experiment with great flavors and dishes. She looks forward to getting to know the Co-op from the board angle and working together to keep it growing and thriving.

Jenna Kuitunen

Jenna Kuitunen

Education Committee Virginia, MN Email Jenna View Bio

Term: 2023-2026

I am originally from rural Gilbert (aka Hutter) and returned to the Iron Range 4 years ago to be closer to my family. I lived in the Twin Cities for many years, graduating from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management with a Bachelor of Science in Business degree in 2003 and then several years later I received my Juris Doctor from William Mitchell College of Law in 2015. Most of my career has been in small business financing, and I currently work in Risk Management and Compliance for U.S. Bank doing internal credit reviews for the Wealth Management and Business Banking divisions. I live in Virginia with my cat Oliver and my dog Zari (both rescues) and spend time as much time as I can with my family, especially my nieces and nephews. During my free time I am an avid reader, and in the winter I snowboard and curl.

Allison Hill

Allison Hill

Education Committee Gilbert, MN Email Allison View Bio

Term: 2023-2024 (partial term)

 

 

Find Us

732 N. 4th St.
Virginia, MN 55792

218.741.4663
info@naturalharvest.coop

M-F: 8AM-8PM | Weekends: 9AM-7PM

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Annual Meeting of Owners Thursday, April 25th, 5:00-8:00 pm
Register in-store or through email by April 14th for us to accommodate meals.

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